During December, I was mindlessly reading the tube adverts (above the head of the unsuspecting passenger below them), seeing all the usual suspects, wellwoman plus, simba mattresses etc, when I was met with the face of a piglet staring back at me. Intrigued as to what it could be advertising, I bothered to read the words, which encouraged me to ‘try out vegan for January’ #veganuary.
I was intrigued by the challenge, yet sceptical, so i set about investigating the feasibility of attempting veganuary. Both the veganuary and PETA website offer great advice on what you can and can’t eat, including a list of ‘accidentally vegan’ products, which I was thrilled to see included Oreos, Corona and Pringles. Surely anything that put those items in your shopping basket couldn’t be all bad.
Since taking on the challenge, I’ve been ‘veganning’-about London and here are just a few of the vegan/vegan friendly eateries I’ve discovered along the way.
The menu here makes you forget that eating as a vegan could ever be anything other than simple. With burgers, burritos, pie and fudge cake all on the menu, this is quite simply the holy grail of vegan restaurants
Camden: Mon-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-10pm
Kings Cross: Mon-Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm
Soho: Mon-Sat 12-11pm
Having previously made do with cheese-less pizza when visiting other restaurants, I jumped at the chance to finally try something that vaguely resembled ‘real’ pizza and went for the the Rosso (tomato sauce, vegan mozzarella, caramelised red onions, sun-blushed tomato pesto, oven charred red peppers, finished with tofu cottage cheese) and I was not disappointed.
Vegan or not, I would definitely recommend everyone to visit this place at least once. I’ll definitely be going back for further research.
Address: 913 Garratt Lane, SW17 0LT
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-5pm
Cook daily – Shoreditch
There isn’t much I’ve craved since starting veganuary, but when presented with the offer of a ‘full english'(tofu “egg” scramble w/ mushrooms, tomatoes, greens, sausages and a swirl our house brown sauce topped with crispy baecon), there wasn’t anything that was going to hold me back.
I was most sceptical about the egg and although I can’t say it matched the real thing in all sense of the word, the texture was great and the flavour was a damn good substitute. Plus the fact that the whole thing was far more healthy than the average offering made it all the more sweet.
Address: Unit 55&53, Boxpark 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 12-9pm, Thur-Fri 12-9.30pm, Sat 12.30-9pm, Sun 12.30-
I’m constantly surprised by the lack of froyo available in London, so to discover there was a vegan friendly froyo/ice cream shop in Soho was a revelation! Offering 4 flavours and multiple toppings, I really did feel like a kid in a candy store.
Address: 130 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZN
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 1-10pm, Thu-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 1-10pm
Cork & Bottle
Leicester Square isn’t necessarily an area you associate with quality venues or fancy wines, but I’m happy to say that Cork & Bottle breaks the mould on both fronts. With at least 6 vegan white wines to choose from (and I can only imagine the same for red), plus additional vegetarian wines to boot, this truly is the dream drinking den.
Address: 44-46 Cranbourn Street, WC2H 7AN
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am til Midnight, Sunday 12- 11pm